HARWINTON — American history notes that the first Thanksgiving meal at Plymouth, Mass., in 1621 included the now-obligatory roast turkey, along with waterfowl, lobster, venison, ham, clams, berries and fruit, squash and pumpkin pie.
The Pilgrim settlers celebrated for three days, probably not only because of a successful harvest, but mostly for the fact that they hadn’t all died from the plague. They drank, not wine or beer, but fermented apple juice since apples were easy to come by and what is now called “hard cider” was popular back in England.
Fast forward, on the Harwinton/Burlington line, the Hogan family began a cider mill in 1912, when Route 4 was a dusty country road. Brothers Morris and Richard Hogan offered farm food to their neighbors during the Great Depression, and following WWII, Morris Hogan served as a State Representative for 22 years.
When current co-owners Chet and Theresa Dunlop purchased the historic farm property of Hogan’s Cider Mill in 1992, they re-imagined the large barn with authentic rustic and antique décor including barn doors for the three spacious rooms on the second floor, wooden floors, an 1890s era phone booth and a vintage piano on both levels.
Their dream was to include a Tap Room on the large second floor of the barn and in July 2019, that dream was realized. There are distinctive features to each room, including an impressive Folk Art stained-glass window. There is also a large vintage wood stove that is used to heat up mulled drinks at the Tap Room.
On-site bakery items include fresh baked apple pie, apple fritters, blueberry muffins and cider donuts. Some of the more unusual offerings in the first-floor gift shop include handmade woven candle mats and trivets, Royal tea cups, bird-feeders, and folk art stained glass by local artist Frances Raymond. There is also a wooden replica of a rustic “Pouting Chair” for children.
Chet Dunlop, PGA, recently closed the driving range on the property, but continues to offer private lessons through the New England School of Golf. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. On-the-spot gift baskets can be made, or orders can be placed by calling 860-675-7320. Hogan’s Cider Mill is located on the border of Harwinton and Burlington at 522 Spielman Highway, Route 4. For details, visit www.hoganscidermill.com or email@example.com.